Ghibli Retrospective: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES

Contributing Writer; Toronto, Canada (@triflic)
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Ghibli Retrospective: GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES
Willem (age 10) and Miranda (now age 9) are spending time with the work of Takahata Isao, for this second Studio Ghibli marathon on the big screen. After having fun with Pom Poko last year, and the more contemplative Only Yesterday earlier this week, they take the plunge with the saddest animated film every made, Grave of the Fireflies.  They talk about war and family, responsibility and consequences, and crying at the movies.  

Twitch is certainly not the youngest of movie websites, and a several writers have children who are old enough to understand and consume media in a way that is raw and fresh, but also with the inklings of consideration. In short, this is the age where many of us fall in love with the movies. Thus, we are offering you the perspective of children as they react to seeing classic animation on the big screen. 

TIFF Bell Lightbox is running an another Studio Ghibli retrospective in December and January, which has expanded the number of titles (old and new) from the very successful previous 2012 run in Toronto. We hope you will enjoy this deep dive back into Japan's most beloved animation house. All the previous entries can be found either in the ScreenAnarchy archives, or at the Vimeo channel for The Kids Talk Film.  
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ChildrenGhibliGrave of the FirefliesIsao TakahataKids Talk FilmStudio GhibliWar

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More about Grave of the Fireflies

dx_xbDecember 23, 2013 1:59 AM

I can't watch this movie again, just too sad.

These kids are incredibly bright

ColinJDecember 23, 2013 2:35 AM

Thanks a bunch for putting this movie back in my head again.

I'm gonna go curl up into a ball and cry like an infant.

Ard VijnDecember 23, 2013 5:08 AM

Kurt got chided by Willem already during the GRAVITY review, saying he'd probably have enjoyed the film more if he had seen it at a later age.

As for this film... Kurt, even though your kids handled it incredibly well, you know you're still going to burn in hell for this, right?

KurtDecember 23, 2013 9:33 AM

Thanks for commenting and the compliments.

Here is a little context however: The children and myself have been working along not only With Ghibli, but with other 'adult' movies. It's not that the aim is to have them 'grow up faster' it is only to expose a few other corners of storytelling to them, planting the seeds. My parents did it by accident with me in the 1970s by simply taking me to the movies to see whatever they wanted to see each week (nobody enforced Theatre Ratings in the city I grew up so I got to see dramas and even the occasional horror movie very young...Hey, it was the 1970s and early 1980s, everyone smoked in the theatre too.)

KurtDecember 23, 2013 9:37 AM

Oh, just put this on my tab for things I'm going to burn in hell for! Surprisingly at the SOLD OUT full-to-the-seat screening of this film, there were a number of children - at least I'll have company in the hot place.

My daughter really likes Satoshi Kon's PAPRIKA (which we also did a show on), but still likes to chide me that all the 'anime nudity' in that film is totally INAPPROPRIATE. She invites her girl friends over to watch the BLU RAY. Nothing gives me more pleasure than my own kids bringing to neighbors over to watch Fantastic Mr. Fox, Spirited Away or even Sita Sings The Blues.

Sure the like Despicable Me and Tangled, but I feel we're fighting the good fight over weak-sauce children's films in our household...

kruumDecember 24, 2013 1:08 PM

This indeed makes for some interesting discussion of age ratings. In my vision, this is a whole lot more responsible than just kicking in a dvd with the age appropriate certificate and leaving the room.

You are there to guide them to those few things in life you can. And you can talk about it afterwards, as in a healthy discussion. Nice.

And good to bring up the Totoro double bill of this film. You must be familiar with the theory about Totoro being about kids who disappeared? And the film actually being about the kids being dead? Which would make for and even sadder film.

Ard VijnDecember 24, 2013 6:29 PM

Studio Ghibli has always vehemently denied those rumors. Personally I like the theory (it makes for a VERY alternate viewpoint on TOTORO), but I do not regard it as being true.